Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday accused right-wing Israelis of deliberately thwarting efforts to broker a peace deal with the Palestinians.
In unusually stark terms, Mr. Kerry warned that the building of Israeli settlements was undermining any hope of an agreement to allow two states to live side by side.
At the Saban Forum, an annual gathering of senior Israeli and American policy makers, Mr. Kerry said some members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government had made “profoundly disturbing” statements.
“And more than 50 percent of the ministers in the current government have publicly stated they are opposed to a Palestinian state and that there will be no Palestinian state,” Mr. Kerry said.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Netanyahu addressed the forum via video link, arguing that Israeli settlement building was not an obstacle to peace.
Israel is ready for talks with no preconditions, he said, urging Arab governments to recognize the state of Israel.
But Mr. Kerry dismissed the idea that more Arab states would strike peace deals with Israel without any moves toward an agreement with the Palestinians.
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